Kilkenny's student entrepreneurs begin online journey

Online: This year’s Student Enterprise event will be virtual


Presentation of National Student Enterprise Programme Awards 2020

Student entrepreneurs from 15 schools across County Kilkenny have begun their journey in this year’s Student Enterprise Programme, with eyes on next year’s national final.

The Local Enterprise Office-run programme will be delivered differently given the current restrictions across the country, and the final, which will take place on Friday, May 14, will be a virtual one.

This is 18th year of Ireland’s largest secondary school entrepreneurship programme and has seen over 200,000 students take part since it began. The final usually takes place in Croke Park but in 2021, as with the 2020 final earlier this year, the event will take place online in line with current guidelines.

The students, who will compete across three categories, Junior, Intermediate and Senior, will see judging take place virtually via electronic submissions. Each student enterprise is challenged with creating, setting up and running their own business, which must show sales of their service or product.

The programme will also include two additional categories that students can enter. These are the ‘Most Creative Business Idea’ video competition for the senior category and the ‘My Entrepreneurial Journey’ category for the Junior and Intermediate categories.

Over 700 students from 13 schools across the county registered to take part in last year’s programme. Kilkenny has had previous success in the competition over the years, and last year, Nathan Ryan from Colaiste Eamann Rís in Callan took first place at intermediate level in a new pilot competition ‘My Entrepreneurial Journey’. Colaiste Eamann Rís also had further success with twin brothers Mark and Evan Srouji winning a Special Merit Award in the Intermediate Category of the main competition with their high-quality handmade Bee and bug houses.

“These are unprecedented times for our students and this year’s competition is giving them the opportunity to create businesses that can make an impact in the current real-world scenario,” says Fiona Deegan, Head of Enterprise.

“We are encouraging students to come up with business ideas that are adapted to the existing enterprise challenges and that are sustainable in today’s economic climate. With this in mind the programme has changed and even though the way it is being delivered (which is mainly online), is different, the students will still be able to work together in their school setting to develop their businesses. This will be our most challenging year to date in the Student Enterprise Programme’s history, but it will be exciting to see what new world businesses our students bring to the table.”

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